Academic journal article Multinational Business Review

The User Information Satisfaction Scale: International Applications and Implications for Management and Marketing

Academic journal article Multinational Business Review

The User Information Satisfaction Scale: International Applications and Implications for Management and Marketing

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In a global business environment, information systems are essential for both small businesses and large, multinational corporations in the process of increasing company efficiency, and, hence, company competitive standing. For employees who use these systems - managerial and operating staff alike - it is important that they perceive the information system as user friendly, accessible, responsive, and, above all, as making a contribution to higher productivity on the part of the individual end user. Consequently, the information systems literature has devised numerous approaches to assessing the extent to which end users are satisfied with the information system. Most of these measures, however, are designed for information systems' staff applications and reflect scale developers' concern with designing short measures that do not infringe on employees' time. In the process, these measures have become narrow and relevant only for restricted applications in a U.S. user environment.

Only one instrument measuring satisfaction with a company's information system (Omar and Lascu 1993) has been recently developed such that it could be applied across different types of information systems, users and cultures. This instrument is more comprehensive and demonstrates a higher reliability and validity than other measures currently advocated by the literature. The present study assesses the psychometric properties of the Omar and Lascu (1993) scale in an international user environment and proposes a number of scale applications that could benefit management and marketing practitioners.

BACKGROUND

A considerable amount of research has been devoted to date to the evaluation of management information systems. Much of the research has focused on the evaluation of user information satisfaction (UIS) using perceptual measures (Bailey and Pearson 1983, Baroudi, Olson and Ives 1986, Baroudi and Orlikowsky 1988, Doll and Torkzadeh 1989, 1991, Etezadi-Amoli and Farhoomand 1991, Galletta and Lederer 1989, Gallagher 1983, Ives, Olson and Baroudi 1983, Melone 1991, Rushinek and Rushinek 1981). Two types of measures of UIS have gained the acceptance of academics and practitioners in the United States, one assessing general user information satisfaction (Bailey and Pearson 1983, Ives, Olson and Baroudi 1983, Miller and Doyle 1987) and the second focusing on user satisfaction with specific applications (Doll and Torkzadeh 1988, 1991). Although concerned with range of applicability of measure, scale developers to date have paid little attention to its potential international applications, with a few exceptions (Doll and Torkzadeh 1989, Miller and Doyle 1987 and Omar and Lascu 1993).

In addition, no attempts have been made to explore scale applicability across different business functions - accounting, finance, management, or marketing. For instance, marketing managers would greatly benefit from using such a measure to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing decision support systems (MDSS) which are gaining ground in both small and large firms.

The process of information systems' evaluation is also gaining momentum in developing countries, paralleling the increased utilization of management information systems by both global and local firms operating in the respective countries. In this regard, valid and reliable measures that could be used across cultures and international user environments are in great demand.

In the following sections, the comprehensive UIS scale developed by Omar and Lascu (1993) is assessed in a Middle Eastern context in terms of its reliability and validity. Next, suggestions are advanced for the application of the scale in international user environments in the areas of marketing and management.

THE MIDDLE EASTERN COMPUTING ENVIRONMENT

Computerization in the Middle East did not gain momentum until the 1980's (Abdul and Al Sakran 1988). Computer adoption in Saudi Arabia, for example, has become prevalent only recently: only 2% of the organizations in Saudi Arabia used computers in 1970, 5% in 1975, 21% in 1980, 32% in 1982, and 66% in 1986 (Abdul and A1-Sakran 1988). …

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